Rick Keene

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Richard J. Keene
Member of the
California State Assembly
from the 3rd district[1]
In office
Preceded by Sam Aanestad
Succeeded by Dan Logue
Mayor of Chico, California
In office
May 20, 1997 – December 1998
Preceded by Michael McGinnis
Succeeded by Steve Bertagna
Personal details
Born (1957-11-16) November 16, 1957 (age 59)
Crescent City, California
Spouse(s) Janice
Children Erin, Christopher, Rosie, Caitlin and Lucy
Residence Chico, California
Alma mater

California State University, Chico (B.A., 1982; Religious Studies, Psychology)

Cal Northern School of Law (J.D., 1989)
Profession lawyer[2]
Website http://www.rickkeene.com

Richard J. "Rick" Keene (born November 16, 1957) is a former Republican member of the California State Assembly representing the 3rd district from 2002 to 2008. Keene previously served on the Chico, California City Council from 1994 to 2002, including a term as mayor from 1997 to 1998.

Early life and family[edit]

Keene was born in Crescent City and raised in Hayfork, a small community in Trinity County. He is the son of a logger. He worked in many varied vocations in his youth. He set chokers in a logging operation, drove a forklift at a nut processing plant and, for 10 years, worked at United Parcel Service.

He began practicing law in Chico at a general law practice specializing in criminal defense, workers' compensation, and personal injury law.

Political career[edit]

Chico City Council[edit]

Keene was first elected to the Chico City Council in 1994. He served on the Internal Affairs Committee. In 1996, his fellow Councilmember Ted Hubert died after re-election, but prior to the first meeting of the new session. This left the council evenly split 3 to 3 between progressive and conservative members. They stalemated on the selection of a mayor for six months. The six members each took turns officiating as mayor before finally appointing Bill Johnston to fill the vacancy, and selecting Keene as mayor.

California Assembly[edit]

Keene was elected to the State Assembly in 2002. He represented the 3rd District including Lassen, Plumas, Yuba, Nevada, Sierra and portions of Butte nd pPlacer Counties for six years. In his second term in the Assembly, Keene assumed several leadership positions, including being selected as Republican Whip and the Vice Chair of the Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife.[citation needed]

Chosen as Assistant Republican Leader 10 months after being first elected, Keene served as principal consultant to successive Republican Leaders on major policy issues and political strategy. He was also selected to be lead Republican on Budget and also served on the Natural Resources Committee, Utilities and Commerce Committee, the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Services and Homeland Security, and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the legislature's watchdog committee.

While in the Assembly, he focused much of his time and effort on the State Budget, Workers’ Compensation Reform and addressing the State’s infrastructure, including working to prevent failing levees in the North State and negotiating to construct new water storage.

4th District Senate Election of 2010[edit]

Keene was a candidate for the California State Senate 4th District in 2010.[3] Incumbent Sam Aanestad was term-limited. Former 4th District Senator Sam Aanestad, former Senators Rico Oller and Tim Leslie and Congressman Tom McClintock endorsed Keene's candidacy. On June 8, 2010 Doug LaMalfa defeated Rick Keene 57.8% - 42.2% in a hotly contested election where Keene significantly outspent his opponent.

Post political career[edit]

After serving in the legislature, Keene joined the Sacramento Lobby Firm Wilke Fleury as “Of Counsel.” In the summer of 2009 he created a business, "Keene Consulting," which he reported earned less than $10,000 for the year. In 2011 he registered as lobbyist and is now employed with a workers compensation firm.

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Michael McGinnis
Mayor of Chico, California
May 20, 1997–December 1998
Succeeded by
Steve Bertagna
Preceded by
Sam Aanestad
Member of the California State Assembly from the 3rd district
Succeeded by
Dan Logue